A Journey Down Under

Welcome to a land Down Under!
Welcome to a land Down Under!

Pike Place Market is a community with vibrant and unique sub-communities. My business and sub-community as a Daystaller/Artist keeps me on the street level and North Arcade for most of my market day. I often walk from my table, south down Pike Place, to grab lunch or my produce for dinner. My walks also take me “Down Under” where I discover a treasured tumble of shops and personalities. Oh yes, and heat. It is warm there. And on a brusque northwest day a lovely way to relax your muscles and see all manner of opportunities to find a special something from around the world, around the block or from back in time. Darryl Beckmann from the Market Magic and Novelty Shop introduces us to the “Down Under” of Pike Place Market.

The Magic Shop
The Magic Shop

“The Down Under has been an important part of the Pike Place Market since it first opened in 1907. Originally farmers brought their produce by horse drawn cart which they stabled in an area directly beneath the market, hence “down under”. After a series of renovations over the market’s 100+ year history, the Down Under is accessible by a veritable labyrinth of ramps and stairs, all of them highways and byways leading to unique and interesting shops, among them, “The Giant Shoe Museum” attached to Old Seattle Paperworks, world famous comic book store Golden Age Collectables, and handcrafted artworks from all over the globe at Hands Of The World. There are shops for collectors of coins, gems, books, records, beads, clothes, and knick-knacks of all sorts, not to mention Chinese food. In the middle of it all is Market Magic & Novelty, one of the longest running magic shops in the U.S. For almost forty years it has attracted four generations of pranksters, amateur and professional magicians, and visitors from every discipline of the performing arts, including singer Kurt Elling, magician David Blaine, Princess Bubble Gum (a costumed visitor to Seattle’s annual anime convention SakuraCon) and, most recently, Oscar-winning high-wire artist Philippe Petit, the man who walked a wire stretched between the twin towers of the World Trade Center. These and many others make the Down Under one the most lively parts of the Pike Place Market.”

To view Magic Shop comings and goings-on, check out their blog at marketmagicshop.com/blog/ and to learn more about the Magic Shop, contact:

Sheila Lyon and Darryl Beckmann
206 713-8506/206-842-7248
See the shop in action at  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2J3q9zFdZVw

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Introductory Text by Kat Allen www.sumon.com
Photography by Kristeena Sabando www.sabando.com